Arts and Entertainment Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Winners in selected categories at the 56th annual Grammy Awards announced Sunday during ceremonies at the Nokia Theatre and Staples Center were as follows:

Album: Jim Noir, Zooper Dooper (Jimnoir.com)

The retro-futurist psych-pop of the Mancunian solo operator Jim Noir is not too dissimilar to some of Gorillaz' recent work.

Album: Lightspeed Champion, Bye Bye (Domino)

His recent Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You album found Dev Hynes, aka Lightspeed Champion, emulating Todd Rundgren at his most excessive and baroque.

How James Blunt saved us from World War 3

Singer questioned US general's order while serving in Balkans

Album: James Blunt, Some Kind of Trouble (Rocket)

How to put this, well, Bluntly?

Amy Macdonald, Hammersmith Apollo, London

"Ordinary Life" is a somewhat ironic choice of opener for Amy Macdonald. The Glaswegian sings: "I don't care about the spotlight" in a voice that matches Dolores O'Riordan for stridency and adds KT Tunstall's huskiness. Amy, there is a spotlight 40 feet above your head, pointing right at you. It is not the only odd moment in a slick but ultimately underwhelming set.

Diary: A soft-rock coalition

Miliband (E) was understandably keen to distance himself from David Cameron during his first leader's speech yesterday. Despite their divergent politics, however, it seems the party heads share a taste for 1980s-inflected MOR soft-rock.

My Edinburgh: Josie Long, comedian

This year I've done three things differently from any other year I've been at the Fringe:

Album: Tinashé, Saved (Island)

The good news is that Tinashé is a gifted singer-songwriter, way above the norm, with a winning way with a Facebook-generation couplet and a USP in the shape of a smattering of African influence (think Jack Johnson with a Zimbabwean background).

Tony Peluso: Guitarist whose solos on The Carpenters' 'Goodbye to Love' ushered in the power-ballad era

One of the biggest acts of the Seventies, the sibling duo of Karen and Richard Carpenter were far from a self-contained unit. Lyricist John Bettis regularly collaborated with Richard and with him co-wrote several of their most successful singles, notably "Yesterday Once More", "Top of the World", "Only Yesterday" and "Goodbye to Love". In 1972, the lead guitarist Tony Peluso played the masterful, melodic, memorable fuzz solos which transformed the soft-rock classic "Goodbye to Love" into the prototype for the power ballad. He remained a mainstay of The Carpenters' studio and touring band for the next 12 years and contributed to the studio albums A Song for You, Now & Then, Horizon, A Kind of Hush, Passage, Made in America and Voice from the Heart as well as their TV specials and their Live In Japan and Live at the Palladium recordings.

Album: Alan Pownall, True Love Stories (Mercury)

A model looker with friends in hyped places (Mumford and Sons, Noah and the Whale), Pownall has everything going for him but his music.

Cultural Life: Amy Macdonald, musician

Music: I have always been a fan of the Guillemots. Fyfe Dangerfield, the lead singer, has recently produced a debut solo album called 'Fly Yellow Moon'; he has the most amazing voice ever. I got an advanced copy of the new Paul Weller album, 'Wake Up the Nation', which I really like. Sometimes I just set my playlist to shuffle and listen to a lot of different songs, which always brings up some new finds. My latest discovery is the song "You're the Best" from 'The Karate Kid'.

Album: Jack Johnson, To the Sea (Island)

Too old for the Hollister generation, Johnson now sells albums to the likes of Gavin and Stacey's Uncle Bryn, who, erm, dig the laid-back grooves and the idea they are down with the kids.

Album: Carole King & James Taylor, Live At The Troubadour (Hear Music)

Back in 1970, Carole King and James Taylor made their debut appearance together at Los Angeles' famed haunt, The Troubadour, as respected songwriters but unproven performers.

Album: Band of Horses, Infinite Arms (Columbia)

Despite the critical approval heaped on Band of Horses' last two albums, both charted in the UK only after a recent appearance on Later.... Which puts this review-writing business in perspective.

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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